Using olive oil may prevent stroke

June 15, 2011 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Using olive oil may prevent stroke

A new study suggests that consuming olive oil can help prevent a stroke in older people. The research was published in the June 15, 2011, online issue of Neurology.

For the study, researchers looked at the medical records of 7,625 people ages 65 and older from three cities in France: Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier. Participants had no history of stroke.

Olive oil consumption was categorized as "no use," "moderate use" (using olive oil in cooking or as salad dressing or with bread), and "intensive use," (using olive oil for both cooking and as salad dressing or with bread). The study participants mainly used extra virgin olive oil, the type that is processed using no chemicals and minimal heat.

After considering diet, physical activity, body mass index and other risk factors for stroke, the study found that those who regularly used olive oil for both cooking and as salad dressing had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke compared to those who never used olive oil in their diet.

Olive oil has been associated with potentially protective effects against many cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity. Researchers say it is not clear which particular element of olive oil could be protective, while the effects of olive oil could even be indirect by making other healthy foods tastier.

Leslie's note: "Extra virgin" olive oil comes from the first pressing of the olives. It has the lowest acidity and is judged to have the most superior flavour. Because of its excellent flavour, extra virgin olive oil is best used as a salad dressing or as a dipping oil. Heating extra virgin olive oil will cause its flavour to diminish.

  • Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over grilled vegetables.
  • Brush extra virgin olive oil over cooked meat or fish before serving.
  • Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over crusty whole grain bread or an open faced sandwich.
  • Add extra virgin olive oil mashed potatoes instead of butter (along with pureed roasted garlic for healthy phytochemicals).

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.